If you’re stuck on a desert island, your sex toy is the #1 survival item on your list. And we get it, sex toys are pretty great. They help you de-stress and unwind, giving you the me-time you need and deserve.

But you know what you don’t deserve? A nasty infection because you can’t figure out how to clean sex toys properly.

Luckily, we’re here to lend you a hand (no, not like that). In this guide to cleaning your sex toys, we’re giving you all the tips and tricks you need to clean your sex toys and clean ’em good.

Ready to say goodbye to harmful bacteria infestations on your sex toys? Then keep reading for everything you need to know.

Why Cleaning Your Sex Toy is Vital to Your Health

When you don’t clean your sex toys thoroughly and regularly, you run the risk of damaging your health. Why? Because the bacteria left behind after use can lead to infections, and that includes Sexually Transmitted Infections if you share your sex toys with friends.

Which Sex Toys Get the Dirtiest?

Giving your sex toy a deep cleaning is especially important for certain types of materials. That’s because some materials are more porous than others, meaning they’re much harder to clean and disinfect. Porous materials include:

  • Jelly
  • TPR/TPE
  • PVC
  • Rubber
  • Vinyl
  • Cyberskin

If your sex toys are made of one or more of these materials, you may want to consider using protection. That way, any harmful bacteria that don’t get out during a cleaning session won’t give you an infection.

Other sex toys that get dirty easily include those with grooves, ridges, and crevices. These features can make your experience more pleasurable, but they can also make cleaning and drying more complicated. For these toys, you may benefit from investing in a special scrubbing brush for your sex toys.

How Often Should You Clean Your Sex Toys?

Sex toys should be cleaned after every single use. Yes, that’s right. Whether it be every day or every time your special someone heads out of town for the weekend, cleaning your sex toy isn’t something you want to put off for later.

The longer your sex toy stays dirty, the more of a chance harmful bacteria has to thrive. And that means next time you pull your sex toys out, you’re getting all that harmful bacteria onto (and even into) your body. And if that’s not enough to sway you, you should know that regular cleanings can actually extend the lifetime of your favorite toys.

How to Clean Sex Toys in 4 Steps

Sex toys should always come with cleaning instructions. But even those aren’t as thorough as they could be. So instead, we recommend following this handy dandy guide on sex toy cleaning day.

Step 1: Clean

The first step is to soak your sex toy in hot water and soap. Try to choose a non-scented soap, especially if the sex toy goes inside you. Scents can often throw off the pH levels inside the vagina, causing infection.

For sex toys with deep ridges or grooves, it’s time to grab your new scrubbing brush. Make sure to clean the scrub brush after each use, too. You don’t want to transfer dirty scrub brush bacteria onto your sex toy accidentally.

Be careful with sex toys that vibrate or have a motor. For these, you don’t just want to dump your toys in the water. Instead, use a scrub brush or a special washcloth and soapy water.

Step 2: Sanitize

Once your sex toy is clean of surface grime, it’s time to sanitize. Sanitization is your first line of defense against harmful bacteria. Even if you skip all the other tips on this list, we implore you to at least sanitize your sex toys.

If your sex toy is made of a water-proof material, we recommend throwing that sucker into boiling water. While this likely won’t address all harmful bacteria harbored deep within the material, it will help reduce it. Another tip is to wash your sex toys in the dishwasher, but make sure to check your manufacturer’s instructions to make sure they’re dishwasher safe.

For non-waterproof sex toys, use a washcloth or cotton pad and 70% isopropyl alcohol for disinfecting. You could also pick up one of the many sex toy-cleaning products out there designed for this very reason.

Step 3: Dry

While drying your sex toys may not seem like a big deal, you don’t want to skip this step. Moist crevices and corners in your sex toys are like vacation spots for harmful bacteria. So even if you do clean and sanitize your sex toys thoroughly, you can still end up with an infection due to improper drying.

Make sure you use a clean and dry towel. Use a pen or paintbrush to push the drying towel down into difficult to reach places. You don’t want any water leftover, or you also run the risk of mold and mildew developing on your favorite sex toys.

Some sex toys are more difficult to dry than others. For example, the fleshlight can be difficult because of its deep crevices. If you’re looking for a guide to drying your fleshlight or similar sex toys, check out this guide to see how it works.

Step 4: Store

Believe it or not, storing your sex toys in that old drawer of your nightstand isn’t the best place for them. You probably don’t clean out that drawer very often. And letting your sex toys just roll around inside isn’t an excellent defense against bacteria.

Instead, store your sex toys in their original packaging. Or pick up a special bag for your favorite toys. Try to choose a bag made of fabric with a high thread count or something tightly-weaved (i.e., microfiber) to further reduce the chance of harmful bacterial infestations.

More Tips and Tricks for Your Sex Toys

Now that you know how to clean sex toys, are you searching for tips on how to use them with your partner? Check out Areas of My Expertise’s Adult blogs for more sex toys tips and tricks.

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